Stretching seems to get a lot of attention. Some experts say it’s absolutely vital to a good workout, while others say it’s not as important as you might think. I guess that leaves the choice regarding whether or not you stretch entirely up to you. If you want to stretch, go right ahead, but there are some ways you can make it more effective to your overall weight loss goals. Use some of these tips and watch the results pay off in no time.
1. Stretches Can Jump Start the Moves Used during Your Workout
Stretching can absolutely tone and shape your muscles. It also warms them up so they are adequately prepared for your exercise session. Some experts recommend choosing stretches that use the same motions as your actual workout moves. This enhances the benefits of your chosen workouts and jump starts your results.
2. Burn Extra Calories when You Stretch
Obviously, stretching burns calories, though not as many as a good workout. By starting your exercise session with some stretching, you boost your overall calorie burn while also helping build lean muscle mass, something that boosts your metabolism and helps your body burn even more calories, even at rest. That’s the best news I’ve heard all day!
3. Build Confidence with a Warm-up Stretch
Exercise experts love stretching, especially for people who are new to exercise, because it gives you confidence that you can get your body to do things you may not realize it can do. Stretching is much safer and easier on the body than many forms of exercise and mastering it is something that will help you keep on track with your weight loss goals.
4. Stretch before a Meal to Control Your Appetite
Stretching isn’t only beneficial when combined with a workout. Try doing some light stretches about 10 to 15 minutes before a meal. This helps your body slow down, relieves stress and tunes you in to your appetite. Combined, this can help you make nutritious decisions regarding what you eat and helps keep you from eating more than you should.
5. Use Stretching as a Mini Workout when Time is Tight or You’re Too Tired
Skipping your workout from time to time isn’t going to derail your momentum, but once you skip a couple, you fall out of the routine of exercise. When you don’t feel like putting in a full session or you can’t find time in a busy day, substitute your traditional workout with 15 minutes of stretching. It’s not as effective, but it will keep you in the frame of mind of working physical activity into your routine.
6. Add Stretches as a Simple Weight Loss Goal
Here’s the math when it comes to weight loss: you have to burn more calories than you consume. That means cutting back at mealtime, but it also means incorporating more calorie burning activities into your life. Adding some stretching to your routine burns additional calories and helps you work toward the results you want to see.
7. Combine Stretching with Other Healthy Habits and You’re Good to Go
Stretching alone isn’t going to result in weight loss, but when you combine it with regular cardio and a low-calorie meal plan, you’ll start seeing the pounds melting off. Sure, stretching is great for its own list of reasons, but it gets even better when you make it part of your healthy lifestyle choices.
Do you stretch? Why or why not? Has this list convinced you to give it a try?